Bhat HB, Kishimoto T, Abe M, Makino A, Inaba T, Murate M, Dohmae N, Kurahashi A, Nishibori K, Fujimori F, Greimel P, Ishitsuka R, Kobayashi T.
A mixture of sphingomyelin (SM) and cholesterol (Chol) exhibits a characteristic lipid raft domain of the cell membranes that provides a platform to which various signal molecules as well as virus and bacterial proteins are recruited. Several proteins capable of specifically binding either SM or Chol have been reported. However, proteins that selectively bind to SM/Chol mixtures are less well characterized. In our screening for proteins specifically binding to SM/Chol liposomes, we identified a novel ortholog of Pleurotus ostreatus, pleurotolysin (Ply)A, from the extract of edible mushroom Pleurotus eryngii, named PlyA2. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-conjugated PlyA2 bound to SM/Chol but not to phosphatidylcholine/Chol liposomes. Cell surface labeling of PlyA2-EGFP was abolished after sphingomyelinase as well as methyl-β-cyclodextrin treatment, removing SM and Chol, respectively, indicating that PlyA2-EGFP specifically binds cell surface SM/Chol rafts. Tryptophan to alanine point mutation of PlyA2 revealed the importance of C-terminal tryptophan residues for SM/Chol binding. Our results indicate that PlyA2-EGFP is a novel protein probe to label SM/Chol lipid domains both in cell and model membranes.